Author Archives: Andi Perullo de Ledesma

About Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

CURRENTLY | 02.14.18

Watching | 2018 Winter Olympics 

Not a lot of people know that I once trained to go to the Olympics in swimming. However, life took me on a different path. Having said that, no matter if it is the Summer or Winter Olympics, I am glued to the TV during the entire Games. Of course, I love watching the athletes compete to win the coveted gold, but I also enjoy learning each of their story’s, which is undoubtably inspiring if they have made it this far.

Reading | Nothing

I do not have a single moment on any day to read. It truly blows my mind that there are mothers out there that read! #keepingitreal

Working On | Disney Posts

A week after we returned from Disney to celebrate Joaquín’s third Birthday, which was probably the greatest trip I have ever been on, my beloved grandmother passed away. On top of that, both my son and I came down with the flu. If that was not enough stress already, we decided to put our house on the market, so there has been zero time/energy between the grief, sickness, and moving to work on my Disney posts. I have started slowly working on them this week and hope to have them up soon. I promise they will be worth your patience!

Feeling | Overwhelmed

As mentioned above, I feel as though I am being hit from every corner in my life. I know this too shall pass and when I stare at Joaquín’s beautiful face everything feels right in the world again. I get frustrated when it comes to this blog, however, because I have a million ideas that are on hold indefinitely. On a positive note, we are traveling to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina next weekend and I hope to find some peace while we are there.

Planning | Our Move

I have a lot to say regarding our last minute decision to relocate. Once we are settled into our next house, which is still being decided upon, I will divulge everything behind our reason to move. I will definitely miss our first house, which provided us with a lifetime of memories. I am trying to look at this as an exciting adventure, but it was just two years ago that we went through the process of buying a home and it nearly did me in. One day at a time, right?

Loving | Three

Despite the epic tantrums and his favorite word being “no!”, I love love looove Joaquín being three. This age is such an adorable mix of him seeming so grown up, yet in many ways still acting like my little baby. I guess that is where the nickname threenager comes from?

My Favorite Photo | Feeling All The Love At Disney

What is currently going on with you? You can read my last Currently update here.

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Five Tips For Blogging About Your Travels

The idea of traveling the world and blogging about it has a strong allure and many cannot resist. Vacationers, casual day-trippers, and full-time experts are growing in numbers every day. It seems that everyone is traveling, writing about it, and then are blogging about it. Some are simply capturing their memories to share with friends and family, yet some are making a living while trekking. Want your piece of that pie? Read on.

Whatever your goals are for touring and starting your blogging adventure, here are five tips for writing and sharing about your ventures:

Take A Lot of Photos On Outings

People are visual. There is no way around it. People want to see pictures and videos of what you are talking about. They want to live vicariously through you and what you are seeing. They want to see the edge of the cliff you were standing on. They want to see the five-star meal you are about to devour. They want to see it all. So, show them!

Take pictures or videos of everything: your food, your transportation, your accommodations, your scenery, your acquaintances. Take selfies. Capture pictures of street vendors and the public markets. Record video of the sun slipping down over the horizon wherever you are. Get snaps of the wildlife, the street signs, and restaurant menus. It is all fabulous fodder for your blog.

Sure, you can use two exclamation points at the end of a sentence when you talk about how fun your experience of riding a mountain rail was or you can show a picture of your beaming face and hands thrown in the air. The old adage is still so very true: a picture really is worth a thousand words and extra exclamation points.

Write About It All

In addition to taking copious amounts of photos and videos, journal about everything. Make it a point to write about all your fleeting thoughts and emotions, the ways your senses pick up on things around you. It does not have to be perfect by any means. Just get it out of your head and on to paper or in your digital notes.

You can make lists, jot down keywords, create full paragraphs, or fill pages. Just write about it all. You can always refer back to this when you begin to prepare your blogs. Words will trigger emotions. Emotions will trigger memories and those memories are what you share.

Combining great writing with photos and video will have a one-two punch that will keep readers intrigued and entertained. They will come back for more. Give it to them!

Make Time To Work On The Blog

It will take clear and focused intention to keep your blog going. It will require a serious time commitment to edit the photos and videos you capture, to write about the adventures you are experiencing, and to promote the blog. Social media posting, boosting, and audience building will take work and finesse.

Consider doing these things while you are eating that fabulous dinner you just snapped a pic of, while you are sunning yourself on the beach with a mai tai, or while commuting from one location to the next (trains are great for this, just be sure to get pictures or video of the trip too). If you can find some way to make it fun, it will not be such a monumental challenge at the end of a long day of seeing sights and creating memories.

Keep An Open Mind

While you may enjoy focusing on a specific genre of travel writing (local cuisine, museums, or extreme activities) keep your eyes and mind open to new ideas, new friends, new foods, new animals, new flora, and a plethora of other “new-to-you” things that you may not even know were out there.

Having a particular focus is a great place to start each and every journey, however, as events unfold, be flexible enough to embrace each thing that comes your way. Perhaps you will be in just the right place to capture the moment when something newsworthy happens and you can give your perspective as a reporter-on-site. Staying alert to the local culture and events around you can offer an amazing variety of topics to blog about.

Feeling Stuck? Want to Quit? How To Move Forward

Sometimes the incoming information will cause sensory overload and become overwhelming, you will feel like you are in a writing rut or like you want to quit altogether. This is the best time to reach out. It may not feel like it, but it is. Your travel blogging community is there for you. Ask for ideas, inspiration, or assistance. They have your back, so lean into them and get back on the proverbial horse.

Globe trekking can take a lot out of a person. Living on the go, out of a suitcase or backpack, and being a constant state of flux can get to you. The good news is that many others have been there before you and will have suggestions and can provide hope for you. All you will have to do is ask. Let them support you!

As with any job, being a travel blogger is work, but it can come with huge benefits that you can choose for yourself for the most part. At the end of the day, you can incorporate a variety of creative endeavors into a profitable business venture. Why wait?

Arms Wide Open

Four Ways Being Grateful Upgrades Your Life

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.” Aristotle

I am now about to talk to you about the subject of being grateful like nobody’s talked to you about it before. Are you grateful for waking up in the morning each day? Do you thank your lucky stars that you get to make coffee in the morning? How many times do you thank yourself for striking off that first “to do” goal in the morning?

Listen: being grateful means appreciating yourself and others. There is no room for falsities here — this is the real stuff. That is part of the reason “being grateful” has become a marketing buzzword as of late. Anything positive that is spiritual and helps develop your whole self is bound to be commercialized, right? Anyway, that is beside the point. The real point is this: being grateful equals happiness. Happiness equals an upgraded life. How? Let us talk about that now.

1. Fulfillment

Imagine not feeling empty inside for not having the latest gadgets and tech products storming the world every season. Do you know what it is like to not crave a ’65 Mustang or hot 2018 fashion accessory? When you do not chase things, such as a luxury beach house, a limousine with a chandelier inside it, or even a Netflix subscription, you teach yourself how to be happier with less. Which puts you leagues above your neighbours, who are undoubtedly competing with each other to see who has the best stuff — as if that stuff actually matters.

2. Gratitude Improves Psychological Health. 

Being grateful also means asking the big questions. Addicts, for example, may have heard of recovery options. Being grateful for the chance to recover, thus improving their life.

You will learn how to deal with people who do not see eye-to-eye as you. Because you will accept their reality and understand that they see things differently. This will make you say, “Oh, that is how they do things in their own world.” You will accept more readily that people who disagree with you are not wrong (and that you are not right); it is that you both see different versions of the same subject.

“In addition, no evidence indicates that discrete episodes of gratitude are accompanied by particular patterns of physiological arousal or a unique facial display.” (“The Grateful Disposition: A Conceptual and Empirical Topography“; McCullough, Tsang, Emmons)

3. You Are A Calming And Necessary Presence

We talked about being able to see things from others’ point of view. Which certainly makes you wiser than the average hundreds of people you come into contact with each day. But there is a secret benefit to understanding other POVs: being able to disarm aggressive people and prevent fights from breaking out. Being grateful shows you how to help people who are not as emotionally/mentally strong as you, by becoming an open ear for their storms and traumas. This prevents them from blowing the roof off the place and escalating — possibly into violence.

4. Look And Feel Healthier

Aside from lowering stress, practicing the art of [synonym grateful] makes you feel physically healthier. Imagine that! Imagine having less aches, less pain, and not having to rely on medications or groaning all the time about a sore body. Why does this happen? Grateful people, who acknowledge life’s beauty, do all they can to ensure their bodies are optimized and healthy. This means exercising daily, meditating to clear their conscious and psyche of ill wills, eating good (and whole/real) food, as well as doing what they can to make their bodies as pure as possible.

Conclusion

Grab a journal and make it your gratitude-only journal. In it, each morning (or night) flip to an open page. List ten things that you are thankful for (or thankful that happened). For instance: this morning I am thankful that I did 10 kettlebell swings before my first cup of coffee. Those 10 swings got me moving and my blood pumping to handle the day. There is no reason not to start a gratitude journal today.

Sofa

Set Up Somewhere To Sit For All The Family

Whether you have a living room, a lounge, a den, or a family room, it is somewhere for your family and visitors to sit when you want to relax. You need to have space for everyone to sit down and maybe stretch out and lie down too. Sometimes there might only be one or two people in there at a time, and on other occasions, you could be squeezing all your family and friends into the same room. Choosing the right seating can require some careful consideration if you want to make sure that everyone is comfortable and relaxed. Have a look at some of the options you could consider:

Sectional/Modular Sofas

Your family room needs to be a flexible space. Sometimes you are snuggling up on the sofa and sometimes the kids might be lounging around. You can have different numbers of people in there at any one time, so one fixed setup might not always work. Choosing a modular or sectional sofa could work for you if you want to be able to move things around. Each sofa section can be reconfigured or even used on its own if someone wants to sit away from everyone else. It might not work for a smaller room, but it is a good idea if you have enough space to move things around.

Giant Bean Bags

If you are setting up a den or a relaxed family room, you do not have to have very formal furniture. In fact, something casual can help to make the room feel much more relaxed. You might think of bean bags as being for children, but Comfy Sacks are practically sofa-sized. They can give adults the support they need too, with no danger of not being able to get off the floor. Grownups and kids alike will love a giant bean bag, and if you have pets, they are sure to love them too. Of course, you can have other seating options too, as not everyone will want to sit on a bean bag.

Multifunctional Furniture

You never know when you might need to find extra seating for guests or visitors. You do not have to have a living room that always has space for twenty, just in case. If you want to be prepared, you can have multifunctional furniture that can be used as seating if need be. For example, you can have upholstered footstools, poufs, benches, or coffee tables that provide comfortable seating too. When they are not being used to sit on, they perform other useful functions.

Somewhere For The Furry Family

If you have any four-legged friends in the family, you might want to give them their own seating too. As much as it is sometimes fun to cuddle with your dog or cat, you do not want them on the furniture all the time. If you want some stylish options for your pets, you can get smart pet furniture, so they can have their own sofas and chairs.

Everyone deserves somewhere comfortable to sit at home, whether they have two legs or four. You can set up your living room or den, so that it is welcoming for all!

New York City

Ten Major Vacation Cities In A Snapshot

You know you have made the right vacation choice when you cannot keep your camera in your pocket for more than five minutes. The richest holiday experiences are those that keeping hitting you with inspiration after inspiration; when you have one eye on your framing and the other on the kids — who also just want to touch, taste, and see everything!

Of course, it means trouble when you get back home: phones and memory cards make for epic snapshot repositories. Gone are the days when you would return from even the most picturesque vacation with no more than two or three rolls of 12, 24, or 36 pictures from your analogue camera. Editing your snaps for Facebook or to choose a few to print can be a weekend’s work!

However, it is all worth it. Taking pictures can help you to look at a place more closely and to remember the details that might otherwise have faded.

The folks at The Big Domain have come up with an interesting alternative to that flood of images: multiple-exposure photographs that attempt to capture the flavor of a city in a photographic instant. Check them out: maybe they will inspire a new artistic approach on your next city break?

New York City (USA)

There are eight million stories in the Big Apple — how are you supposed to simmer them down to a single picture? A yellow cab, the Times Square lights, and a bit of Greenwich Village boho makes for a good start.

Istanbul (Turkey)

Istanbul is the meeting place of Europe and Asia, which makes it a veritable cauldron of diversity. From the Byzantine-influenced architecture to the bustle of the bazaar, you will never be short of new shapes and colors to astound you. Perhaps you need a movie camera for this city?

Tokyo (Japan)

The home of Nikon and Canon is a cutting-edge place to be for an enthusiastic photographer. Capture just the iconic business districts and you will only have half a picture; you do not have to travel far to find Tokyo’s more tranquil spots.

Moscow (Russia)

Our parents and grandparents may not have had the opportunity to visit Moscow, but it is opening up for new generations. There is a whole cityscape out there that remains unfamiliar to western eyes.

Mexico City (Mexico)

You will immediately notice the warm tones of Mexico City and it is a color that is reflected in the spirit of the people. The city is fast-paced, though, you might want to take your Polaroid with you just so you have an excuse to slow down and wait.

Cairo (Egypt)

Ancient history and contemporary culture make for an exotic blend in Egypt’s capital. And it is not just the look of the place; you might want to use your iPhone’s Voice Memo app to record the famous call to prayer.

Hong Kong (China)

There is a lot going on in Hong Kong. If the streets and shopping centers become overwhelming, it can be a lot more relaxing and just as inspiring to take the city by double-decker tram.

Sydney (Australia)

From Bondi Beach to the iconic Opera House, Sydney’s has it all and you will want to adjust your camera aperture since you will be seeing it all through a new pair of shades.

Delhi (India)

Little can make a traveler more jealous than seeing a friend’s pictures of India pop up on social media. Dehli is just about the fullest travel experience you can have and as a keen photographer, that is twice the case.

London (England)

We have all seen the clichés of London celebrated in movies from the Swingin’ Sixties and countless montage sequences on TV. With your camera in hand, you will discover a new London beyond the pomp and tradition of British history and a fresh sightseeing-spot on every corner. Better clear that memory card before you go.

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